To be called into Motherhood is to be called into Life:
Luke 1:46-49 And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name…”
Luke 2:34-35 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in
If life is to be brought through death it seems as though mothers are the daily embodiment of the paradoxical message of the gospel.
And yet there is so much confusion around mothers. Phrases like “don’t mother me” and “momma’s boy” (amongst others) convey a profound disappointment with mothers. If you really stop to think about being in the presence of one who has bared and birthed and nourished and raised you (given you life)… you will go crazy. I experience gratitude, disappointment, love, shame, tenderness, weirdness and awe when I consider my mother. But the question that I’m sitting with today is- How did she discover life more fully through being my mother? And what was it for her to die a million deaths on my behalf?
And now I look at my wife- mother now twice. Death- and yet more Alive than ever before. Her face bears a heaviness (a darkness?) it didn’t 2 years ago yet she carries a lightness of joy I didn’t know she possessed. I have seen her mourn the loss of much but have seen her grow into deeper more complex beauty because she has embraced the call to bear life on behalf of the other with the risk of death for her self. And that is motherhood- to bear life on behalf of the other with the risk of death for one’s self. Mary would be the mother of the Messiah and have a sword pierce through her soul because of it. Similarly, is this not the call of Jesus? An invitation to embody this stance towards our family, our community and our world. This is a place where we are called to die and in doing so, discover a life of meaning we could not imagine. Happy Mothers Day.
*(notes for dialog at wits end church today)